Mono County: Gorgeous Hiking Trails

The snowy winter has made for a water-beautiful summer, with plentiful waterfalls and serene lakes.

APRIL SHOWERS... may bring May flowers, but what does an especially snow-laden winter season deliver? In a word, wildflowers, and in another word, waterfalls, and in other words, a scintillating summer season of outdoors, get-into-the-woods pleasures. Maybe that lengthy sum-up isn't quite as catchy as the old-school rhyme we all know, the one about spring, but the whole winter's-heavy-snows, summer's-picturesque-waterfalls theme is accurate. This has made for some excellent trail hiking around the Eastern Sierra, even though some of the higher elevation hiking spots became "more challenging" due to the lingering snowpack. Lower down, though? Hikers have and continue to encounter a visual symphony of meadows and lakes and a landscape that looks as though it recently enjoyed a long and refreshing drink of water. But where to go, though, before autumn arrives and the areas off Highway 395 begin to attract leaf-peepers? The people behind Mono County tourism have some capital hiking ideas, like...

CONVICT LAKE, home to a "mile-long easy hike" that goes around the lake. It's a walk that includes aspens, a creek, and " option to continue up into Convict Canyon for more adventurous hikers." Wildflowers have been making a showy stand near June Lake and Fern and Yost Lakes, too, and the lakes are all "free of snow." And if you're near Tom's Place, there's the Lower Creek Rock Trail, which is frequented by mountain bikers and is reported to be in "great condition." Skiing at Mammoth Mountain just shuttered in early August, which means summer is fully and officially on around the area. But fall is on the near horizon, so get those higher elevation hikes in while the sun is still high and the waters are still burbling.

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